This is a featured guest post from Martin of The Travel Ramble and Top Travel Blogs. He writes beautifully about the ski resort of St. Anton, just at the base of Alberg pass, in Austria. Read his words, then check out his blogs!
Skiing in St. Anton
There are some ski resorts that are for people who are looking to sip a glass of wine and spend a couple of hours on the slopes. Then, there are the resorts where people burn the candle at both ends. When the last day of the season comes there will be a centimeter of wick and minimal wax left. No end left to burn, just a stub of a candle. Skiing in St Anton is supposed to be in the latter category.
The rowdy, rambunctious resort has some of the liveliest Après Ski in all of Europe. In fact, its reputation precedes itself for this. It is probably why hundreds of young men flock there. So much so, that it has received the nickname of St. Manton (apparently, men outnumber the women six to one). The euro dance filled slopes attracts them, like a neon light does to a moth. Rarely the skiing or the town gets a mention. Often overshadowed by tales of the dizzying mix of alcohol and altitude. But it is the town and skiing that makes this such an attractive proposition. It was the town and the slopes that I fell in love with.
St. Anton the Town
The setting has to be one of the most stunning in the Alps, with it being right at the foot of the Arlberg pass. The mountains encompass the sprawling town, with the river running down the side of it. For a town with a reputation for partying, it is surprising how traditional it looks. The lit up, classic looking, Austrian buildings will fill anybody with a sense of romance. The lights aren’t as intensely bright as they can be in some resorts, they set just the right level of ambience. St Anton is so much more than just booze and partying. I expected streets lined with bars, and people smoking outside. There were plenty of them, but I didn’t expect high class delicatessen and restaurants with couples. That just wasn’t part of the script. There was a buzz about the town but it didn’t overpower it, it was faint and soothing. You knew it was there but you knew you can escape it at any time. It appears that St Anton could be anything that I wanted it to be, but what I really wanted was challenging runs.
And that is what I got in St Anton. It is probably the reasons that the resort is suited for younger people. The desire to seek cheap thrills and have copious amounts of adrenaline pump through your body is a trait of the young. Reach a certain age, and there be a risk of an aneurysm. The runs in St Anton are deceptive, reds that anywhere else would be classed as blacks. It was sold to me by Crystal Ski as most challenging resort in Europe, and they were right. The lumps, bumps and way that you fly down the slope, filled me with a sense of elation and relief. Especially, when I didn’t get a mouth full of pow pow. The powder isn’t the freshest but the terrain will make you forget all about that. The only major problem is the crowds on the slopes. Not an uncommon problem with ski resorts. But the number of people, who are standing in the middle of a run, having what can only be described as a mothers meeting, can be very dangerous.
So overall based on my experience of skiing in St Anton is more than just binge drinking up a mountain. It is a car free, carefree, picturesque town with some of the most enthralling runs around. Being able to go out after and toast a day on the slopes is just an added bonus.
Author bio: Martin is former sun seeker who has been caught by the addictiveness of fresh powder, great runs and altitude. Follow him on Twitter @martinnolan7 to hear his views on all things travel related.